All 16 tolerated cannabis coffeeshops of Haarlem, united in Team Haarlems’ Coffeeshop entrepreneurs (THC) reject Justice Minister Opstelten’s Weedpass Project, they see no purpose in registering their customers as cannabis users.
The motivation behind this statement lies in the results of an enquiry held by the 16 coffeeshops, which indicates only 12.4 % of the participants will eventually register as a cannabis user on the ‘member-list’ of a coffeeshop. This indicates that the Haarlem coffeeshops would end up losing 87.6 % of their customers and turnover, which would inevitably lead to many bankruptcies. In case of a bankruptcy, a coffeeshop seizes to exist, so participating in the Weedpass Project is simply no option, according to the 16 members of the THC.
This would also mean all coffeeshop employees (Budtenders) will be fired,some 90 people would end up without a job, and apply for benefits.That is undesirable, because that would not only affect the Haarlem coffeeshops, all coffeeshops in the Netherlands would have to lay most, if not all, Budtenders. These 4.500 people would end up being unemployable, because a CV with the stigma of cannabis all over it will make employers turn them down.
The enquiry also shows that 62,9 % procent of the Nay-sayers would buy their cannabis from astreet- or housedealer, if they were not registered and allowed to buy in coffeeshops, 21,7 % indicates they will start growing their own cannabis!
If the government forces our customers to buy of the street in the future,they will end up buying from persons that sell all kinds of drugs besides cannabis, and that is unacceptable, states the THC.
The Dutch Tolerance Policy for cannabis sales is based on ‘the separation of the markets’, the market of cannabis (soft drugs) and the market of heroin, cocaine, etc.(hard drugs). The coffeeshops have successfully maintained this principle, by doing an excellent job.
The presence of coffeeshops in Dutch society does make a difference, a clear and positive difference, cannabis consumption in the Netherlands (people over 16 years of age)is 6.1 %, in the USA it is 12.8 %, and in the UK,for example,it is 10.8 %, without coffeeshops! Prohibition does seem to cause more cannabis consumption than allowing regulated cannabis sales. This system can not just be eradicated because our Justice Minister thinks and states smoking cannabis is bad, and ‘we’ should do away with all that.
The 16 Haarlem coffeeshopentrepreneurs have decided not to comply with the new criteria for tolerated coffeeshops,like registering Dutch citizens as cannabis users, and discriminating all non-Dutch coffeeshop visitors. We can not beat bankruptcy, so we, our staff, customers and ourselves, are ready to start a struggle with Minister Opstelten, before our civilized city will be divided in working areas for street dealers and drugsrunners.
Wilco Sijm, Chairman THC
Nol van Schaik, Secretary THC
Source: Coffeeshop News